After reports about The Dark Tower going into turn around at Universal, suddenly rumors abound that the epic Stephen King adaptation is now slated for a Ron Howard-directed February 2012 start date.
However, the project must get the green light by July or the rights will go back to the author and filmmakers.
Deadline's Michael Fleming recently called The Dark Tower "arguably the most ambitious Hollywood project since New Line and Peter Jackson shot three installments of Lord of the Rings in one long shoot," but here the budget is clearly an issue, and Universal wants costs cut down.
The Wrap also pointed out that Comcast, who just took over Universal, has a "corporate culture [which] leans towards the frugal," and Universal's President of Production was also just fired, which could help explain why the company may have cold feet about Dark Tower, and Guillermo Del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness. (Del Toro also doesn't have the big box office hits and track record that Ron Howard has yet.)
Interestingly enough, Deadline speculates Universal has also been playing a game of chicken with Relativity over rival updates of Snow White, with Universal refusing to blink on theirs, which has a June 2012 release date.
Whatever Universal feels would make a safer bet, The Dark Tower adaptation is indeed an ambitious, and expensive undertaking, and as Ron Howard told Deadline back in December, "It's dense, a great author's work is not to be taken lightly."